School is back in full swing with the return to early schedules, homework and bus rides or pickup lines. And unfortunately, it also means that your child is more likely to come home with lice. Here's what you need to know:
What to look for
You may notice that your child is scratching his or her head a lot, or you may get the dreaded "lice letter" notifying you that lice have been found in your child's school. Look for the presence of lice, especially at the nape of the neck and over the ears. If you find any, you'll have some work to do.
How to treat lice and nits
After using the product, you'll have to go through your child's hair in an effort to get rid of nits (eggs). This takes a lot of time, so get your child settled in a comfortable chair, preferably with a tablet, book or something else to keep them occupied and relatively still. Look closely through small sections of hair, and when you spot a nit, cover it between your thumb and index finger and run it down along the hair shaft, pulling it off and putting it in a plastic baggie that you seal up and dispose of when you're done.
Continue to do this daily or every other day for about two weeks to ensure that new lice don't hatch.
Treating your home
You'll need to treat your child's surroundings by thoroughly washing sheets and other bedding, as well as stuffed animals, in hot water and drying them on high for at least 20 minutes. Personal items that can't be washed should be sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks. You'll also need to vacuum your home thoroughly.
If the lice are resistant to Nix or RID, they may be a type known as "super lice," and your pediatrician can prescribe a more powerful medication.
Getting professional help
If you're finding it too hard to find and remove the nits, help is available from professional "nit pickers." Some also offer different ways to treat lice.
The following are some metro Atlanta businesses that help with lice:
Pediatric Hair Solutions
4840 Roswell Road NE, Building A, #201, Atlanta. 404-998-9294. pediatrichairsolutions.com.
Offers a three-step natural removal process, which includes a pre-treatment applied at home, an in-office treatment using heated air in a timed and specific pattern and an at-home post treatment.
11205 Alpharetta Highway, Roswell. 678-240-0042, and 2030 Powers Ferry Road SE, Building 300, Suite 390, Atlanta. 770-702-8980. headlicespecialist.com.
Provides head checks as well as head lice removal and hair conditioning.
Atlanta, Decatur, Druid Hills, Dunwoody locations, 800-966-6903. elimilice.com.
Provides head lice checks and treatment in one of its several facilities as well as in your home.
2411 Chastain Drive, NE, Atlanta. 770-776-7913. atlanta.licehappens.com.
Provides pesticide-free treatment and removal services throughout the metro Atlanta area by using a mobile unit.